Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Can an individual really make money on Gigbucks and Google Adsense?

If you've read my first four blog posts today you'll see that fourth and fifth attempts at making money on the internet this week will be through Google Adsense, as well as trying out the new micromarketplace Gigbucks.

Google Adsense allows you to add ads to your blog, so that you can earn some cash. Readers may click on the ads on your blog which then earns the writer some bucks. No, you can't click on your own ads or you get banned. The program is really strict and the payment plan is so convoluted that unless you are already a millionaire, there is no negotiating the rates. Their FAQ can be found here, which tells you the details of their program. 

I've had Google Adsense added to my blog for over a year now. I must say it is not a good way to earn cash. Pennies accumulate so slowly so unless you are Stephen King or Nora Roberts, you might as well forget about paying your mortgage with this tool. 

I've written five blogs today, so I'll be monitoring my Adsense account to see how much money I make as compared to the auctions that I posted on Ebay, the items I'm selling on Craigslist, the gigs I'm selling on Fiverr and the gigs I'm selling on Gigbucks. I'll tally up all the totals in a week's time and offer my recommendations as to total amount of income earned, ease of website use, and any other issues such as payment delivery.

I've been doing this for some time now so I already have a clear idea what the results will be, but I'm sure that you the reader will be curious about the sales figures.

My next attempt was to sign up for Gigbucks. Gigbucks is for microlancers. You can sell all sorts of homemade crafts and services on here. Sign up was relatively simple. I verified my email address and posted my first gig. 

All went well except for two issues. One is that your gig does not show up right away, it has to be approved first. I'll provide you the link to my page and hope that something might show up tomorrow. The second issue I had was that you are only allowed to post one gig a day. A positive aspect of this site is that it allows gigs up to $50 for even a newbie. I guess I should have tried that first.

Stay tuned next Wednesday for my online sales report! Is it really worth spending time on the internet selling products and services?

Can an individual really make money on Craigslist and Fiverr?

I'm going to have to combine some of my website topics as I have to fit four subjects into two posts. I'll give my reasons in my next blog.

Let's start with Craigslist. This is a relatively simple marketplace website. Sellers post items they wish to sell locally. An interested buyer clicks on the button which sends a secure email to the seller. The seller then decides whether to send the buyer their contact information.

I quickly set up five items for sale, all household goods. I already had the photos on my computer, so keep in mind that if you want to try it now, you'll still need a good hour to find items to sell, clean them off, take photos and upload to your computer.

The listing only took minutes between entries. Craigslist does require your postal code now, likely for security reasons. Don't forget to unclick that map or else you'll be telling the world you have a $10,000 gold coin for sale at 555 Five Avenue, Anycity.

Here are my listings of my household items for sale. This should clear out one whole cupboard in my kitchen. I'll let my readers know how I did on this site by next Wednesday.






I'll now relate my experiences with Fiverr. Just who are they? While you can make crafts to sell online, this website is far from an online used products marketplace. Here people pitch their gigs starting at $5, from cute little crafts to making videos and writing articles. There's even some fun stuff on here. People will do tarot card readings, they'll dance for you, they'll paint your house or promote your ideas. Anything within reason as long as it's family-friendly.

You can find my five gigs here by clicking on my profile. While I had some gigs up for more then a week, I posted the fifth one yesterday, so I'll give it another week to see how I do.

Initially you can only post a gig for $5. Once you have some sales, you can start pitching for $10 or more. I found the website tricky to use. First of all, it doesn't work on Explorer, you have to use Chrome, if you are on a Mac. If you're a PC user than likely you need to use Firefox or Chrome also. The requirements for the photos are so finicky I wanted to throw my computer out the window. Even when I had five gigs posted, the editors emailed me and said my photos weren't up to their standards. I couldn't figure out what exactly was wrong with my photos. Then they'd just remove my photos and without photos my gigs were suspended. I'd view other gigs and find ones with terrible photos so I don't know where I went wrong. Finally, after about ten hours on this site I had five gigs posted and ready to go. I think even the editors were happy.

In other words, don't expect to get rich quick on Fiverr. If you want to have some fun, great. If you're a writer who normally makes $400 a day then you'll want to skip it.

Stay tuned on next Wednesday to find out how my sales went on Fiverr and Craiglist.

Can one individual really make money on Ebay?

My blogging marathon continues. My third blog of the day will focus on whether I can make any money on Ebay.

I've already laid the foundation of five auctions. To be fair to each product, each will be allowed seven days to see what revenue comes in.

Since I'm involved in the mini fashion doll community and I love to craft, I put up some cute little doll outfits on Ebay. I'm not going to post links to every single item. One link to my About Me Page on Ebay - View Items for Sale should suffice. All items will be promoted to social media though.

As you can see, I have five items up for auction and two already have bids. There are only three days left in the auctions, which end Friday afternoon. This means that I'll have made at least $20 US for my efforts. I can only hope that the other three items will receive bids and sell.

These items are listed in the "Dawn Doll" Category on Ebay. Around 1998/1999 when Ebay selected the name "Ebay" for their site name the collectors petitioned Ebay for their own Dawn Doll category. It took a few years but eventually our own category was created. Today there are 1402 items in the Dawn Dolls category. Most of those auctions will last for seven days on the site. I'm going to calculate that about 200 new items are added each day. I'm saying that the odds of selling in this category are quite high. If we look at an electronics category on Ebay, for example Cell Phones and Accessories, there are over 500,000 items today.

Perhaps the secret to Ebay is finding your niche. Let's also keep in mind I've been on Ebay since before it was called Ebay. Established sellers likely do better due to reputation on Ebay and in the collecting community.

I'll post a follow up on Friday afternoon to let everyone know how my auctions did.

Can one individual really make money on the internet?

I need to spend one day marathon blogging but that's a lot of writing. After all, ten posts on cute cat stories could get boring. No? Okay so I'll leave the ten cat posts for next week. 

Over the past few weeks I have been exploring ways to make money as a writer, particularly over the internet. I realized that while I may not necessarily focus on making money as a writer for the subject of this blog, making money on the internet is a fantastic subject for several blogs.

I started by deciding on which websites I would promote my products. Ebay and Craigslist are the main ones. Last week I started on Fiverr, an unknown for me, so I'll relate my own experiences with that site. Gigbucks is another of the main microselling sites, so I'll sign up and give it a try. I needed a fifth idea. Many of the other suggestions online took me to deleted or hacked websites. That's no good, I need to deal with reputable sites, plus the onus is on me to not take my readers to some site where their identities will be stolen. In the end I decided that Google Adsense was a good fifth choice.

One listing per website probably won't provide me an accurate indicator of success. Five posts should do it. After all, it takes time to take the photo and upload it, write out a description, edit the listing, preview and post. Each item needs to be promoted via Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest at least once. (Boy are my followers going to love me this week!)

Please follow me over the next week or so to see whether an individual can sign up for a bunch of websites, start listing products and see if any actual money can be made.

Being a Science Fiction Writer Means Writing, Not Waiting

I'm reposting this entry from two years ago, since it's still valid for writers today. I've added some updates too.

Many readers don't realize that I have written over 150 published and paid non-fiction articles. A good 3/4 of those were about annihilating your credit card, before it annihilated your life. The remainder were a miscellany of topics surrounding jewels, green living, and the 2010 Olympics. 

Besides writing some guest blogs and working on my own blog I've switched over to fictional writing.

When I was about 15 I wrote this rivetting story about the end of the universe. I wish I hadn't trashed it but it was the first science fiction story I ever wrote.

I started up again around the early 1990s with Dr. Who fan fiction. Many of my stories appeared in Mythmakers and DWIN's (Doctor Who Information Network) Enlightenment magazine.

Last year I had my short story, "Zombies Against the Confederacy of Steam," published in Marion Margaret's anthology entitled, "Confederacy of Steam Vs Zombies".

This year I've had another short story accepted to It's historical Egyptian fiction centering around a single parent family that lives in the City of the Dead. You can click here to download it. It's around $1 to buy "The Glass Marble". The short story is family-friendly and can be read to younger children. The editor felt that adults may also wish to read the story, hence its genre on the site.

I have about seven other short stories at publishers, hoping they will be accepted. I also am editing a YA novel that needs to go somewhere before spring starts. I am working on a non-fiction fictional book, if that makes sense? I've created a whole new genre! I intend on setting up a fun new website, which will require written content. I also continue to work on this blog, which hasn't generated a lot of income for me, perhaps a hot chocolate or two. So, lots of projects in progress.

What is my main writer's block? It's insomnia! I can't sleep at night, so I lay there, feeling sick and crappy. I finally get to sleep for a few hours, get out of bed and feel horrible the rest of the day. While I've trained myself to be on the computer even when I feel crappy, the time spent in bed, and the time spent sleeping all add up. I'm still trying to work on fixes for this situation so I can double my writing and work time. You can say it's a work in progress.

What it all comes down to is that being a writer is more than merely dreaming, being a writer is actually doing. 

If you are reading this, please click the "Follow" link at the top to keep posted. If you already have a Google account, it's super easy to join.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Steampunk Harlequin Hypnosis Show

The Steampunk theme of this show caught my monocle one day while I was cruising Facebook. Being an active member of the Vancouverites for Steampunk community, I'm always open to new adventures.

After perusing the Harlequin Hypnosis show website I chose their showing at the Inlet Theatre, Port Moody.

We donned our Steampunk gear and headed out for an evening of adventure.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect. About one third of the crowd were dressed in steampunk finery. There were gadgets and trinkets to buy. The theatre itself is in a fine civic building. We enjoyed viewing the 2013 photo of town council dressed in 1903 finery and all the vintage photos of the town.

The show was due to start. The story revolves around Katie, a little girl who is upset at being left with her governess, while her older sister gets to go on high adventures with their Dad. Katie suddenly goes missing, leaving the Captain, Navigator, Deck Hand and their minions to search for her.

Volunteers from the audience were chosen to be "hypnotized". Captain Rob, the lead hypnotist, put the minions to sleep. When they were required to perform their duties, they were awoken and made to do all sorts of crazy things. 

Much hilarity ensued. While they were counselled that they wouldn't have to do anything embarrassing, I beg to differ. Rob was kissed by one young lady. Some minions fought over the attentions of others. At one point Captain Rob's cat went missing. This had to be the funniest part of the show for me as the minions raced all over the theatre searching for kitty.

After visiting a lighthouse and an island full of hungry cannibals the crew realized that they had gotten sidetracked over exactly where Katie was.

The mystery was solved. Katie had been messing with the entire crew and she was in fact, not really missing. The whole spectacle had been a waste of time.

The minions were allowed to go home.

While we enjoyed the show, I wouldn't have minded a bit more back story and less audience participation. Some of the minions departed the stage early, as they were wearing out after an hour under hypnosis. How this can be accomplished I'll leave to the crew, whether through special effects or more acting from the hypnotists.

As the show played out it came to the point where I didn't really care where Katie was, but rather, where was that darn cat?